If you want your Iscorama to join an elite of less than 20 in existence – high performance ones with greatly improved handling and construction, then you have until Tuesday 2nd September to join the EOSHD / Andrew Wonder group buy! Email EOSHD here to join the list.
The modification made in the UK by cine lens specialists Van Diemen will build into the lens a brand new focus movement, for a shorter throw of 150 degrees. Much better for follow focuses and quicker manual focus by hand. Close focus will come down to 3 ft 6 inches with the aim of this coming down even further when engineering begins. Along with robust metal housing replacing the plastic housing of the Iscorama, the new lens will have the ability to add a lens support for those using 15mm rods.
When NY based filmmaker Andrew Wonder first started talking to Van Diemen about the initial design demands he was looking at a lofty £4000 for the work. With 5 more units in the mix this price came down closer to £2000 and now with more than 10 confirmed orders since our blog posts last week the price is down even further to £1800. The more Iscorama owners who commit to this, the cheaper it will be for all!
The mod applies to the small Iscorama original or 36, not the larger and rather differently designed Iscorama 54.
Here’s what Andrew Wonder has to say about the upgrade:
As you can read on my blog and EOSHD.com this is the second version of rehousing from Van Diemen in the UK. They are selling the version one of the rehousing for around 1000 pounds on their site but the new modifications we are coming up with will help blow that one out of the water.
The V1 rehousing puts the lens in a better casing and builds a removable adaptor onto it that allows you to screw the Isco directly onto your taking lens. It has a much improved close focus (4′ as opposed to 6′) and an easy vertical adjustment to calibrate your disco with each taking lens.
This was great but there were a few issues with it that made the lens hard to shoot with. The major problem was the focus throw. Adding the additional feet of close focus made the focus throw well over 300 degrees which made focusing by hand near impossible and still difficult with a follow focus. I also really wanted improved close focus. 4′ was better but still not enough to use the lens without diopters in most situations.
Our V2 rehousing improves these flaws. We will be building a brand new focus movement for the lens getting the focus throw down to 150 degrees. There will also be a close focus improvement down to 3’6″ but we are hoping to get it down even lower when engineering begins. This V2 will also have the ability to add a lens support to the lens if you are using 15mm rods.
Originally when we started talking about this design with Van Diemen, the price per unit of close to 4000 pounds because of the development and design costs. As I was able to add more units to the order I was able to get this cost down. When we were getting 4-5 units in the mix the cost was brought down to 2000 pounds.
When Andrew and I started the group buy our hope was to get the cost even lower by bringing people into the mix. After talking with Van Diemen the cost break down will be as follows:
If we get 10 units great (Andrew and I represent 4 so we only need six more) the costs go down to 1800 pounds. If we can get to 15 units total then we can make it 1750 pounds and for 20 down to 1700 pounds.
Van Diemen does not do volume production nor do they have any dealers or agents . The result is they sell only direct to the client at the price which makes their business work with an acceptable profit margin. By purchasing all these lenses at once they can get the material costs down by ordering at once and then pass the savings to us. Also buy purchasing together with one order we will get to save the different bank and administrative fees.
Above: picture of the older V1 Van Diemen modified Iscorama, from this discussion on the EOSHD Anamorphic Forum
How it works
Please email me here for any final requests to join the group buy.
For now expect to set aside £1800 maximum for the upgrade. Andrew Wonder will update us on any lowering of the price as everything is finalised at our end.
After settling on the price and our commitments, everyone will pay via PayPal to Andrew, and he will make one combined payment to Van Diemen. Andrew will provide receipts to everyone and will create another email chain to update everyone as production continues.
Van Diemen tells us to expect the lenses in 90 days. They already have a few Iscoramas there to begin the design process, so we only send our lenses in later when the upgrade is ready to be applied to our batch of 10 or more. Hopefully more.
We pay the shipping costs, the exact process for shipping will be decided once we have a number settled on and what countries the lenses are in.
I’ll be putting my Iscorama original into the mix. I really want that practical solution that I’m not afraid of using more often.
All that is left to say is… let’s go for it… deadline is Tuesday 2nd September!
If you have previously wanted to join and have not had any group email from Andrew or I yet please try emailing me again here and I will make sure you are on the list!